A SWOT analysis of the financial component of TAC revealed that the college has in the recent past been receiving external financing to support its development. Some of the known sources, although not regular, include Tanzania Union appropriation, 13th Sabbath school offering and ADRA.
However this has been made difficult by limitations within the policy framework supplied by the owners, which does not allow borrowing from external organizations and also limits the management in decision making in as far as fundraising is concerned. Implementation of fundraising activities is normally delayed or obstructed by the protocol involved. Other pre-conceived ideas on this issue also make it less flexible for the college to venture into new ways of sourcing external funds. Despite the limitations, there exists great funding opportunities through donors and access of loans from credit institutions.
Besides the external financing, TAC has set up small-scale investment for internal financing to overcome overhead costs. Although these investments are ongoing some weak points were noted. These include: -
These have led to low turnover from the income generating projects. This was attributed to widespread poverty of the communities. There is also an imminent stiff competition and effects of devaluation of the Tanzania Shilling. It was therefore proposed that: -
TAC has developed an organized budget and budgetary control system, which follows a defined protocol. In this system, the Business management drafts the budget, which is then presented before the Administrative Committee while the approval is made by the Board. Annual audits are also carried out. In fact at the time of the planning exercise, an audit was being conducted. The system is however threatened by a centralised control and limited funding, which make the budgeting unrealistic.
The analysis, however, observed the following weaknesses: -
Whereas some institutions aim at a profit to measure success, UoA does not have a profit motive. Efficiency and effectiveness of implementation can only be measured by the level of attainment of set goals in relation to utilization of earmarked resources. This makes budgetary monitoring and control vital. Currently such mechanisms are lacking within UoA. The team recommended that the university: -
The college has clear procedures, which allow the involvement of the BoT in approving of plans and budgets. However, it was revealed that the BoT members pay inadequate attention to the budget. This has resulted into delayed budget approval. It was therefore proposed to improve the quality of BoT involvement: -
According to TAC Management, financial audit exercise is carried out by staff from the Union/Division and is conducted in accordance with the audit guidelines with both entry and exit consultation with the management. The team could not ascertain as to whether the audits have improved the financial management. This is simply because it is an inherent system. Some notable weaknesses were observed such as: -
」 Lack of an internal auditor
」 Sample auditing, which was attributed to limited time for auditing.
」 The exercise is normally carried out by one person, which limits detailed audit.
」 Reports not well kept.
In order to improve the quality of audit and to provide a true reflection of the financial status of the college, the management should employ the services of reputable private external audit firms.
TAC has a financial reporting system in place, which are presented to the BoT for discussion. Although the reports were said to be in place, there are no clear communications to stakeholders other than TU. Other weakness included incomplete statements and delay in reporting. These weaknesses could easily be alleviated through establishment of better reporting packages (systems), improved monitoring and evaluation systems and capacity building for the staff to equip them with recommended reporting skills.
Procurement with TAC is through two main ways including donations and deliberate planned purchases. The management has put in place a clear fixed asset register. Among the major assets are: -
」 3 Motor Vehicles (Tractor, Ambulance and Truck)
」 Computers, Printers and Typewriters
」 Photocopiers, TVs, Video Tape Recorders, Digital cameras
Various shortfalls were noted ranging from lack of a clear procurement and disposal policy., weak asset monitoring system, to inadequate disposal procedures. The team therefore recommended the establishment of a procurement and disposal system to be incorporated in the financial manual. Moreover, some of the assets are old and are not usable.
It is quite commendable that TAC has a sound financial management system computerised sun account system and has developed internal control systems. The system also spells out expenditure levels. For example, huge expenditures are authorized by the administrative committee. It was also noted that TAC status gives it powers to interact with beneficiary members to some extent as it is only recognised by BoT as the final body of owners. But as an autonomous university, UoA will get a legal entity status and the power in its own right, to own property, to sue and to be sued, to owe and to be owed and the power to perpetual succession.
To serve its purpose, UoA has to go the straight way. The current financial management system is an ad hoc and grossly inadequate system characterized by: -
」 Lack of coherent policy guidelines on systematic accounting procedures. Consequently the existing system is only activated once a year in readiness for an audit. This makes the system suffer mistakes of inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Decisions on accounting role are therefore largely made on case-to-case basis.
」 Inadequate documentation. Currently the accounting system comprises payment vouchers, receipt books, analysis books and ledger that only record cash receipts, payments and bank balances, which are helpful in the extraction of a trial balance. However, an adequate and proper accounting system should include financial reconciliation systems at departmental level.
」 Lack of financial monitoring and evaluation, therefore poor budgetary control mechanisms. This makes the cardinal budgetary management process absent in the system. UoA can only determine its expenditures after the year has ended. The annual budget therefore serves no purpose rather than just being matched against the expenditure at the end of the year. In view of the failure to implement the budget due to inadequate funds inflow, UoA should adopt the full time equivalence budget system.
」 Lack of communication channels. The departmental heads are not able to access how far they are on budget so as to set strategies for ensuing period, therefore cash flow situation is only detected when funds are (or almost) over etc.
」 Poor risk management. UoA is exposed to some risk that needs to be planned for. Such planning would aim to avoid the risk or minimise their adverse effects on operations of UoA. The most likely risks are; accidental or natural deaths of staff/students, staff/student disability, threats of fire, threat of burglary, threat of bank collapse, threat of illness, threat to outsiders when in UoA premises etc.
Other weaknesses were: -
」 Delays in budget and budgetary controls due to bureaucracy by BoT
」 The consolidation of accounts (joint account)
」 Too much paper work
These shortcomings in nature of the current financial management system make it inadequate and unreliable in serving the needs of UoA members and partners. Change is inevitable so as to restore confidence of members, the donors and to serve the information and control needs of UoA. The team recommended a design of more comprehensive FMS, policy, periodic training of staff on FMS and carry out a routine update for the systems.
No single rationale currently exists to guide the prioritisation of the investment of resources to address the challenges of UoA. Priority interventions will balance between areas of greatest need and greatest opportunities. In this arrangement, the greatest proportion of resources definitely needs to go to sectors that merit urgent attention to achieve significant impact.
For this Strategic Plan, sectors are defined on functional basis for example, according to the extent to which similar or related activities can be logically grouped. Using this definition, education, resources, environment, enterprise and security are the sectors, which demand the greatest priority. The sectors are defined so as to incorporate stakeholders drawn from communities, development partners (donors) and collaborating institutions. It is the intention of this strategy to permit both a ＾top-down￣ process for identifying the resources package for the strategies and also permit the concurrent ＾bottom-up￣ prioritisation and costing of activities.
The process undertaken in ranking sector priorities involve the identification of activities that form a pool of critical intervention in each sector. In order to arrive at the priority interventions by sectors, activities were based on the following criteria: -
」 Target group (influenced or impacted)
」 Economic impact
」 Stakeholders engaged in the sector
The descriptions presented in this section only serve as guidelines and not detailed project proposal. To fully operationalise the proposed projects, a detailed project specification will need to be prepared taking into account the guideline in this section. The university authority representatives in preparing this plan have created some flexibility in the descriptions so that willing partners are able to find ways of integrating their policies into to this SDP process.
This sector is the foundation of the UoA
programmes, on-going on campus and those proposed. Provision of education is on
going and in the recent past has been faced with problems of limited funding
from its sponsors the BoT. The challenge to solicit
core funding to improve this sector is therefore a very important aspect of
this plan. The key objective of the sector is to establish a nationally and
internationally recognised university and research institute in Arumeru district, Arusha region
Priority interventions in this sector include: -
」 Enhance the capacity of the community to access services provided by the college
」 Affirmative action to increase enrolment by introducing scholarship fund for outstanding, needy and female student and provision of paid jobs to needy students.
」 Affirmative action to source qualified teaching staff by improving staff salaries, allowances and housing facilities.
」 Better succession management in the education sector
」 Affirmative action to increase female participation through giving equal opportunity to all in staff placement.
」 Introduce other educational programmes to ensure sustainability of the strategic plan.
」 Enhance the resource mobilization to cater for the wider University Curricula
」 Research and Development
」 Advertisement and awareness campaigns
Key actors will be drawn from best equipped to handle education and these include Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MHEST), Donors, Collaborating institutions (including universities) and the communities.